Friday, 3 April 2015

"What is faith?"

Responding to Gini Dellow's post on Facebook on “What is faith?”, I wrote:

Faith, as I see it, is believing in something although you can find no tangible evidence for it, believing in something because someone tells you "that's how it is - trust me". As there is no tangible evidence it often leads to disagreement - conflict: "I am right and you are, therefore, wrong" - Sunni v Shia, etc . 

Avoiding conflict is important. How to do it? The best way is, I believe, by basing actions on facts not fancies, and a consideration of human rights. Faith often does not leave room to do this. Like you, I had religion inculcated into me by loving parents, and it took me more than 60 years to see beyond it. 

As described in the Gospels, Jesus of Nazareth was a heretic, railing against the religious authorities of his time (he called the Chief Priest, the Pharisees and the Sadducees 'hypocrites' and 'you viper's brood'), and preached to the downtrodden, attracting crowds and becoming widely talked about. That threatened the authorities and they had him framed so he could be put to death by the Roman secular power (Pilate - who didn't believe a word of the charges and therefore washed his hands  of all responsibility).

That was an end of Jesus - except that as a remarkable man of his time he lived on in memory, as do Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and a multitude of others. The idea of a resurrection is fanciful and unnecessary. Happy Easter - the time of rebirth of the Earth, a welcoming of spring, evidence of which is all around us. No faith needed there then!

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